Monday, April 30, 2012

Woodstock Slammers - 2012 Fred Page Cup Champions

Woodstock Slammers players, coaches and team staff posing for a picture with the Fred Page Cup after edging the Nepean Raiders 3-2 in the tournament championship game. Photo courtesy Robert Lefebvre (

The Woodstock Slammers made team history at the 2012 Fred Page Cup tournament.

For the first time in team history, the Slammers have been victorious throughout the Fred Page Cup (FPC) tournament, sweeping the series in four games.

Achieving a single win in the FPC event is also something to record in the Slammers' history books. The Woodstock squad participated in the FPC in 2006, but finished with an unfortunate 0-3-0 record in the Pembroke, Ontario event.

The Slammers also took part in the 2010 FPC tournament. In the Brockville, Ontario event two years ago, the Slammers faced a similar fate to the tournament four years previous, leaving early with another 0-3-0 record.

Due to the somewhat limited period of time between Slammers' contests in the FPC and other commitments, The Shiretown Blogger was unable to post results from each game. As a result, The Shiretown Blogger is compiling a recap from each game up to and including the championship match, held on Sunday, April 29th at 2 pm at the Kanata Recreational Complex in Kanata, Ontario.

Woodstock Slammers edge Kanata Stallions 4-3

The Slammers were able to face the host Kanata Stallions in their first game of the tournament, held on Wednesday, April 25th.

Robert Visca opened the scoring on a power play at 10:13 in the contest. Visca was the hero on Friday, April 20th, achieving a hat trick in game seven of the 2012 Kent Cup Final, and scoring the game winner 2:53 into triple overtime. 

Robert Visca (#16) chatting with Nick Huard (#13) during a Slammers home game in the 2011-2012 regular season.

Seven seconds after Visca got the Slammers on the board, Kanata d-man Carl-Philippe Ouimet responded, tying things at one. 

Visca broke the tie at 11:06, restoring the Slammers' lead with the help of Evan Carmody and Chris Rygus, who chipped in with assists. 

Just over a minute into the middle frame, Stallions winger Devin Cobbold deadlocked the score at two. 

Kanata took the lead for the first time in Wednesday night's contest, after Derian Plouffe increased the score to 3-2 in the Stallions' favour seven and a half minutes into period two. 

But Phillip Fife tied the game again at 8:37 in the third period, making the score 3-3. 

With three minutes remaining, Nick Huard increased the score to 4-3 in Woodstock's favour. Huard's goal served as the deciding goal of the contest. 

Matt Murphy refused 43 of 46 shots faced for the win, while Brandon Lane stopped 31 out of 35 shots faced in the back-and-forth game on Wednesday. 

The Slammers went 2 for 4 on the man advantage, and were assessed a total of thirty penalty minutes, while the Stallions only utilized on 2 of 9 power plays, and received 22 penalty minutes. 

Slammers Head Coach Jason Tatarnic was satisfied with Woodstock's performance in their first game of the FPC, where the Slammers won their first FPC game in team history. 

"I thought we had a great start to the game," Tatarnic stated in a press release on the Slammers' website. "We used our size and size and strength down low to our advantage. Five-on-five, we were the better team tonight." 

"We have to adjust to their standard of play with regard [to] what they consider infractions. You just have to adjust the best you can, [you're] in their house." 

Tatarnic also stressed the importance of preparation and respect for his team heading into other competitions in the tournament. 

"We have to be ready," Tatarnic stated. "I'm positive Princeville [Titan] will be ready today. They have a young team and they looked nervous in their first game." 

"We respect them. They are a championship team, [and] we have to use our size to our advantage in a disciplined fashion and let our skilled guys use their skill." 

Slammers defeat Princeville Titan 5-3

The Slammers faced the champions of the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League, the Princeville Titan, in their second game of the FPC. 

Princeville winger Alexis Milette opened the scoring at 7:47, giving Princeville a 1-0 advantage after the first period

Slammers captain Andrew Langan responded, but not until 3:18 in the middle frame when he beat Charles-Etienne Martin on a shot after receiving a pass from Connor Tresham and Bradley Greene. Langan's goal got the Slammers on the board and deadlocked the score at one. 

A minute and a half later, Robert Visca scored for the third time in the tournament after intercepting a pass from Nick Huard. Visca's goal busted the deadlock, giving the Slammers a 2-1 lead. 

Ben MacSwain was penalized for a high stick at 5:44. Felix Bergeron wasn't willing to waste the power play opportunity, tying the score at two at 6:28. 

Princeville's Kevin Boissonneault was sent to the penalty box for slashing at 7:09, giving the Slammers a man advantage. Visca took full advantage of the power play, beating Martin with some help from Nick Huard and Tim Campbell. Visca scored his second goal of the contest and restored Woodstock's one-goal lead. 

Marc-Antoine Lessard beat Matt Murphy at 12:15, bringing the score to 3-3. Lessard tied the contest yet again, but his attempt was not sufficient to place the Titan ahead of the Slammers on the scoreboard. 

Aided by Ryan Purvis and Chris Rygus, Zach Shannon restored the one-point difference in the Slammers' favour once more with 2:03 remaining on the clock. 

Martin left the net for the Princeville bench with 1:17 remaining in the contest, leaving the Slammers with a great opportunity to increase their lead to two. The Slammers wasted little time doing so, and Visca rounded out the scoring using a hat trick goal on an empty net with 40 seconds remaining. 

Murphy saw 29 shots in Thursday afternoon's contest, and said no to 26 of them, while Martin stopped 23 of 27 shots faced. 

Despite being on the man advantage on nine different occasions, the Slammers only put the rubber between the posts once, while Princeville went 1 for 4 on the power play. 

Slammers Head Coach Jason Tatarnic was satisfied with the Slammers' performance in the first period, but admitted that Princeville's power play goal took its toll on Woodstock's momentum.

"I thought we played very well, especially early on," Tatarnic stated in a press release on the team's website. "[But] a power play goal against slowed our momentum." 

Tatarnic added that the Slammers took more control in the middle frame and took pride in their determination. 

"In the second period, I thought we controlled the play. Our guys have shown some determination here, and that helped us in the third period to secure the win." 

Slammers raid Nepean Raiders 3-2

The Slammers proved themselves in FPC round robin play, remaining undefeated 3-0-0 in preliminary play. Their third victory of the prelim round was secured on Friday, April 27th, when the Slammers edged the Nepean Raiders 3-2. 

Craig Cowie opened the scoring on a power play at 17:03 in the first period, giving the Raiders a 1-0 lead. Around two and a half minutes later, Tim Campbell responded at 19:34 after Vincent Llorca went to the sin bin for holding the stick at 19:08, tying the score at one at the end of the first period. 

Tim Campbell in a Slammers home playoff game in 2012
Campbell was named the MHL's top defenseman at the end of the 2011-12 season. He finished the regular season with 17 goals and 55 assists, and was considered the "best defenseman to play in the MHL and one of the best players overall" by his coach, Jason Tatarnic. 

Robert Visca broke the tie at 7:14 in the second period, increasing the score to 2-1 in the Slammers' favour. This also was Visca's fifth goal of the tournament. Campbell and Zach Shannon pitched in with assists. 

Jake Logan received a cross checking penalty eleven and a half minutes into the period, giving the Raiders a power play. Brent Norris received a pass from Keenan Hodgson and beat Matt Murphy with 28 seconds remaining in the power play, tying the score at two. 

Shannon broke the deadlock at 15:17, restoring the Slammers' one-point lead and rounding out the scoring. 

The third period remained scoreless, despite Dylan BrindAmour being pulled with 38 seconds of play left.

Murphy witnessed 32 attempts by the Raiders to slip the rubber past him. He prevented 30 of those attempts from coming to fruition, keeping the Slammers in the game. BrindAmour saw 33 shots, stopping 30 of them in the loss. 

The Slammers were off on Saturday as a result of their victory on Friday, allowing them to rest and prepare for the championship on Sunday, April 29th. 

Slammers Head Coach Jason Tatarnic saw the Slammers' performance on Friday as a way of doing what was needed, and Coach Tatarnic stuck to his ideology used throughout the FPC, emphasizing the use of size and skill to achieve things. 

"We needed a big effort today and we got one from our players," Tatarnic stated. "We wanted to impose our will on them throughout the game. Our game plan was to use our size and strength in all three zones, and I think we achieved that today." 

"We know we are in the final. Now its a wait-and-see situation." 

Nepean was victorious on Saturday, defeating the Kanata Stallions 6-1, meaning that the Raiders would face the Slammers once again in the championship match. 

Slammers recognized at Fred Page Cup banquet

Four Slammers received awards during the FPC awards banquet. Nick Huard, Zach Shannon and Matt Murphy were named to the FPC All-Star Team, and Robert Visca was named Tournament MVP. 

Tatarnic was pleased overall with their recognition, but felt that a trip to the RBC Cup in Humbolt, Saskatchewan would mean more to them. 

"We're very proud of our players," Tatarnic stated. "Its always nice to be recognized. But I know all of them would trade those accolades for a trip to nationals. Everyone has performed well and we will be looking for our biggest performance tomorrow." 

Slammers edge Raiders 3-2, claim 2012 Fred Page Cup

Jake Logan is seen here showing the Slammers' newest piece of hardware, the Fred Page Cup, to fans. Woodstock's Brad McLaughlin and Steven Bridgeo can be seen behind the glass. Photo courtesy Robert Lefebvre (

For the first time in the organization's history, the Woodstock Slammers have been successful at the FPC. 

In preliminary action, the Slammers were undefeated in all three games. But by edging the Nepean Raiders in the final contest, the Slammers were able to add the 2012 Fred Page Cup to their list of other successes, which includes three Kent Cups and four President's Cups. 

Andrew Langan got things going at 6:49, with the assists being provided by Connor Tresham and Tim Campbell. 

Craig Cowie deadlocked the score at one at 18:44, leaving things at 1-1 at the end of the first period. 

Ryan Purvis wasted no time breaking the deadlock, scoring at 1:41 in the middle frame. Phillip Fife added the assist. 

Ryan Johnston tied the game at two at 15:23. Kenneth Neil chipped in with the assist. 

Sam Caldwell restored the Slammers' one-goal lead at 2:19 in the final period, sealing the Raiders' fate. 

Despite many opportunities, neither team managed to alter the score for the remainder of the contest, allowing the Slammers to slide to a 3-2 victory and claim the 2012 Fred Page Cup. 

Slammers Head Coach Jason Tatarnic was estatic with the victory.

"Our guys gave a championship effort today," Tatarnic stated in a press release on the team's website. "We played hard and we faced some adversity in the third period. Our guys were determined to get the job done and [they] did everything they could to do so."

Tatarnic admitted that being victorious in the FPC isn't easy.

"This is a very hard tournament to win on the road. We are very proud of every player. The Fred Page Cup is coming home to the Maritimes."

"On behalf of the players and organization, we want to say thank you to all of the fans that made the trip to Kanata, and to all the fans back home in Woodstock and to all the MHL fans across the Maritimes, and of course our Alumnus Dan Dooley, Austin Brown and Travis Crickard who made the trip to Kanata."

Team President Andrew McCain echoed Tatarnic's gratitude for the support demonstrated, and reassured fans in a press release on the Slammers' website that their words of encouragement do reach the players.

"We have received many texts, emails, phone calls and messages of support both to the staff and players," McCain stated. "We want our fans to know that the messages do get to the players. We appreciate the support we have received from the best fans in the MHL."

The Slammers were greeted in style at a large homecoming held on Monday, April 30th, which McCain said was "an opportunity for our fans and supporters to see the team with the new hardware." McCain added in his comments in a press release on that it was a time for pictures, autographs and a chance to see the squad prior to their departure for the Royal Bank Cup later this week.

The RBC Cup, scheduled for May 5th to May 13th in Humbolt, Saskatchewan, is the Slammers' next target. But they may be in for a rude awakening, as the RBC tournament consists of the best Junior "A" squads in the nation. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fredericton-based firm expresses interest in former CMH space

CJ 104 Radio recently announced that a company based in New Brunswick's capital city has expressed interest in the former site of Woodstock's hospital.

Greenarm Commercial Realty, a Fredericton-based firm, is the only company to express interest in the former Carleton Memorial Hospital property.

Greenarm would like to have the former hospital site, situated at 785 Main Street, rezoned from Institutional to Highway Commercial.

Woodstock Town Council initiated a motion to begin the rezoning process at the regular council meeting held on Monday, April 23rd.

Daryl Branscombe of Greenarm told CJ 104 that he expects to release the company's plans for the property in the coming days.

A public hearing on Greenarm's proposal is scheduled for August 27th, 2012. 

New Brunswick Municipal Elections - May 14, 2012

Voters in municipalities across New Brunswick will head to the polls on May 14th, 2012 to elect or re-elect members to represent them, their needs and desires in their municipal governments.

It is important that you go out and vote because:

  1. We live in a democracy, so it is important to exercise your right. Voting is a privilege that is taken for granted far too often. In many nations worldwide, people just like you and I are not fortunate enough to have the right or option to choose their representatives.
  2. By voting, you are showing your interest in community affairs. 
  3. Casting your vote allows you to have an impact on the shaping of your future, and our future. 
The Shiretown Blogger is not politically affiliated with any individual candidate, nor does it seek to endorse any candidate in particular. However, The Shiretown Blogger realizes the importance of casting your vote in any municipal, provincial, or federal election or referendum. 

The following is a list of candidates in the running in every municipality in Carleton County and the positions they are seeking: 

Meductic (borders Carleton and York County):
  • Lance Graham - Mayor (acclaimed)
  • Donna Davidson - Councillor (acclaimed)
  • Jamie Lauzier - Councillor (acclaimed)
  • Randall Stairs - Councillor (acclaimed) 
  • Beverly Forbes - Mayor  (incumbent) (acclaimed)
  • Dean Bell - Councillor 
  • Henry Blaney - Councillor 
  • Derek Good - Councillor 
  • Trevor Gullison - Councillor 
  • Elizabeth Leblanc - Councillor 
  • Julie McConaghy - Councillor (incumbent)
  • Arthur Slipp - Mayor (incumbent) (acclaimed)
  • Amy Anderson - Councillor 
  • Theresa Blackburn - Councillor (incumbent) 
  • Jeff Bradbury - Councillor 
  • James Cluff - Councillor (incumbent) 
  • Peter DeMerchant - Councillor 
  • Matthew Gaddas - Councillor 
  • Bill Hogan - Councillor 
  • Peter Kennedy - Councillor (incumbent) 
  • Randy Leonard - Councillor (incumbent) 
  • Catherine Sutherland - Councillor (incumbent) 
  • David Gormley - Mayor 
  • Craig Melanson - Mayor 
  • Wayne Britton - Councillor 
  • Tracey DeMerchant - Councillor 
  • Travis Dickinson - Councillor 
  • Patrick Harris - Councillor 
  • Roy Layte - Councillor (incumbent) 
  • Daphne Stokoe - Councillor 
  • Susan Bushby - Mayor 
  • Karl Curtis - Mayor 
  • Joyce Trafford - Mayor 
  • Elizabeth Campbell - Councillor (Ward 1) (acclaimed) 
  • Daniel Guest - Councillor (Ward 1) (acclaimed) 
  • Janice Kinney - Councillor (Ward 1) (acclaimed) 
  • Michael Austin - Councillor (Ward 2) 
  • Cindy Chamberland - Councillor (Ward 2) 
  • Thomas Davidson - Councillor (Ward 2) 
  • Nancy McCauley - Councillor (Ward 2) (incumbent) 
  • Rick Pryde - Councillor (Ward 2) 
  • Lottie Nye - Mayor 
  • Gary Thomas - Mayor (incumbent) 
  • Kathryn Davenport - Councillor (incumbent) 
  • Robert Lee - Councillor (incumbent) 
  • Janet MacDonald - Councillor 
  • Michael Stewart - Councillor 
  • Debbie Thomas - Councillor 
With files from

Eight Woodstock streets to be upgraded in 2012

According to a press release on the website for CJ 104 radio, the Town of Woodstock has unveiled its plans to pave streets within New Brunswick's First Town in the summer of 2012.

At the regular town council meeting held on Monday, April 23rd, council awarded Acott Construction a tender for the work. Acott's submitted the lowest bid, which was a little over $315,000.

The amounts of asphalt in tonnes for each of the eight streets to receive a new black top are as follows:

  • Deakin Drive - 425 tonnes 
  • Kirkpatrick Street - 805 tonnes 
  • Cedar Street - 200 tonnes 
  • College Street - 90 tonnes 
  • Stiles Street - 185 tonnes 
  • First Plymouth Road - 370 tonnes 
  • Peters Street - 70 tonnes 
  • Connell Park Road - 120 tonnes 
With files from 

Friday, April 27, 2012

War of 1812 book shared with CCHS

Robert Dallison has attempted to fill a void.

Dallison presented his latest book, A Neigbourly War: New Brunswick and the War of 1812, at the historic Connell House in Woodstock on Wednesday, April 25th.

Upon presenting his novel, Dallison made reference to several other books and documents telling stories of the conflict between the United States and Great Britain two centuries ago, and showed copies of some of them to the crowd, which had gathered in the restored parlour of the historic structure, which was constructed over two decades after the conflict.

Robert Dallison showing off copies of other works about the War of 1812
Robert Dallison showing copies of books by Canadian author Pierre Burton about the War of 1812
The release of Dallison's book coincides with ongoing celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the 1812 conflict. Upon making reference to other works telling different stories of the conflict, Dallison mentioned that his book is meant to fill a void. He pointed out that stories about New Brunswick's involvement in the conflict are few and far between, making his book necessary.

People today have a difficult time believing that a war actually could have happened on Canadian soil, let alone in New Brunswick. The amount of work done to prepare for a possible American invasion in New Brunswick is surprising, and fascinating to learn about.

Great Britain and France had already been tied up in struggles on their own soil, however, the Americans took advantage of the opportunity to declare war on Britain. The work done to prepare for the invasion was carried out by the New Brunswick provincial government at the time, along with citizens taking defense affairs into their own hands.

For a short time, New Brunswick and the state of Maine remained neutral, with New Brunswick supporting other British campaigns further west, along with naval work along the Atlantic coast.

Upon the defeat of Napoleon in France, Great Britain became more aggressive, and New Brunswick attempted to solve its long-standing border dispute with Maine. British troops invaded and occupied the Penobscot River Valley and, for a while, northern Maine was a part of New Brunswick. But when peace treaties were negotiated at the war's conclusion, each jurisdiction had to restore its original boundaries.

Dallison greeted event attendees and signed copies of his book following his presentation. Light refreshments were also served.

Robert Dallison
Robert Dallison speaking to Carleton County Historical Society Vice-President Emily Clark. Woodstock Mayor Art Slipp can be seen in the background.

Robert Dallison signing a copy of his book for Aaron Bouma, Woodstock and Carleton County's military expert. 

Aaron Bouma speaking with Robert Dallison

Slammers claim Kent Cup in game 7, winning in triple OT

The Woodstock Slammers were victorious in game seven of the 2012 Kent Cup Final on Friday, April 20th.

To say that the atmosphere inside the Carleton Civic Centre on Friday, April 20th was exciting would be a massive understatement.

The crowd of 1,302 people flew out of their seats Friday night as the Woodstock Slammers edged the Yarmouth Mariners 4-3 in triple overtime in game seven of the Kent Cup Final.

The 2012 championship marks the third time the Slammers have won the Kent Cup on home ice, claiming it in 2006 and 2010. This is also the second time the Slammers have won it in three years.

Slammers head coach Jason Tatarnic was ecstatic with Woodstock's victory.

"I'm so happy for our guys. They deserved this championship," Tatarnic stated in a press release on the Slammers' website. "They started this journey in September and this chapter ended tonight."

Tatarnic added that their journey isn't really over yet, as the Slammers are preparing to head to Kanata, Ontario to compete for the Fred Page Cup.

"We're going to enjoy this tonight, and on Sunday, we are going to start a new chapter."

"On behalf of the [Slammers] organization, I want to say thank you to all of our loyal fans, volunteers, and support staff."

Former Slammer Justin Bowers returned to Woodstock on Friday night and opened the contest with a ceremonial puck drop. Upon an announcement that Bowers' number nine will be retired sometime during the 2012-2013 season, Mackenzie Brown presented Bowers with a number nine sweater. Brown wore number nine throughout the 2011-2012 season, and will now don the number eighty one.

Justin Bowers

Mackenzie Brown skates back to the Slammers' bench after presenting Bowers with a number nine sweater.

Bowers showing off his sweater to the crowd

Preparing to put on the number nine sweater

Bowers puts on the number nine sweater while Andrew Langan waits for the ceremonial face-off

Ceremonial puck drop

Bowers among members of the crowd

After a scoreless first period, Andrew Wigg opened the scoring on a power play only nine seconds into the middle frame.

Robert Visca had an answer forty two seconds later, getting the Slammers on the board fifty one seconds into the second period and deadlocking the score at one.

Jake Logan broke the deadlock nearly three minutes into period three. Zack Henry tied the game at two at 7:16.

Robert Visca scored for the second time in Friday night's contest over a minute later, breaking the tie and making the score 3-2 in favour of the Slammers.

Things looked like the Slammers would be victorious in regulation play, but the Mariners had other priorities. Jared Hicks scored Yarmouth's third goal with forty two seconds remaining in the third frame, forcing extra time.

Ten minutes was added to the clock, and the overtime battle began. Despite many scoring opportunities, neither team was able to end the battle for the 2012 Kent Cup in the first period of sudden death OT. Two penalties were called seventeen seconds apart late in the period, with both teams playing even strength until Jared Hicks' penalty expired. Nick Huard remained in the sin bin for another seventeen seconds.

A 20-minute overtime period would follow after the ice was resurfaced at the end of the early period. When it failed to decide a winner, a third one was necessary.

With 17:07 showing on the clock in the third OT, Robert Visca beat Charles Grant, achieving a hat trick, which also was the game winner. The 1,300-strong crowd was sent off their seats as the goal was scored and the Slammers' on-ice celebration began.

Grant was named playoff MVP, despite falling in the seventh game of the final round. Grant was largely the reason for the majority of games finishing with a one or two-goal difference.

Of 52 shots faced, Matt Murphy refused 49 for the win, while Charles Grant blocked 55 of 59 shots in the losing effort.

The Slammers found themselves on a man-advantage on three different occasions, but failed to utilize on any of them, while the Mariners scored on 1/4 of their power play opportunities.

As a result of the Kent Cup victory, the Slammers would have an opportunity to represent the MHL in the Fred Page Cup, being hosted in Kanata, Ontario from April 25-29th. The Fred Page tournament would also feature the host Kanata Stallions, the Princeville Titans (champions of the Ligue De Hockey Junior AAA Du Quebec, and the Central Canada Hockey League champions. Results will be posted in an upcoming post on The Shiretown Blogger.

With files from and

TENSE MOMENTS: Sam Renault keeps a straight face as Slammers Head Coach Jason Tatarnic outlines his game plan for the final stage of the game on Friday, April 20th.

The Slammers celebrating after Robert Visca's game-winning goal earned them the Kent Cup

Nick Huard (left) and Andrew Langan celebrating the victory

Slammers players Matt Murphy (left) and Noah Zilbert shake hands with Yarmouth players Nick Booth (#20) and Derek Larade (#61) after last Friday's game.

Ben Miller chatting with Charles Grant during the handshake

Slammers President and MHL Governor Andrew McCain shakes hands with Yarmouth Mariners team staff

Yarmouth Mariners - 2012 Kent Cup Finalists

From left: Andrew Schriver, Robert Visca, Tim Campbell

From left: Phillip Fife, Andrew Schriver, Connor Tresham, Robert Visca and Tim Campbell

Jake Logan showing off the Kent Cup for the crowd while Slammers team photographer Derek Croney (left) and Bugle-Observer reporter Bryan Tait take snapshots of Logan's celebration

Connor Tresham showed off the Kent Cup in style

Zach Shannon with the Kent Cup

Ryan Purvis cheering with the Kent Cup hoisted above his head, which cannot be seen in the photo

Ryan Purvis kissing the Kent Cup

Phillip Fife was all smiles when he showed off the silver

Sam Renault

Brett MacLean clearly enthusiastic

Chris Rygus

Andrew Schriver

Colton Stairs shared the Kent Cup celebration with a unique crowd that stood in close proximity to the Mariners' bench

Colton Stairs

Evan Carmody

Mackenzie Brown

Tim Rose

Brandon Leonardo

Slammers Head Coach Jason Tatarnic

Trainer Bryan Hamilton

The Slammers posing with team assistants Levi Kierstead, Brad Atamanchuk, Aaron Bernard, and equipment manager Mike Burrell

Ryan Purvis with some proud supporters
Ben Miller

Brandon Leonardo speaking to some delighted fans
More photos of the game will be posted in an upcoming post on The Shiretown Blogger